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“Argh, damn faucet!”
If you live in an establishment that vaguely resembles a house, you’re probably no stranger to leaky pipes.
Yes, those rusty tubes have the potential to make your life a living hell and your kitchen a dirty mini-swimming pool.
Moreover, if you run a commercial establishment, such a restaurant or a hotel, boy oh boy are you going to have some angry customers if your pipes start leaking.
That’s when you need to call a plumber.
Calling a plumber is an easy task. No, calling and talking to them is easy, but deciding which one to call?
To help you decide who you should call, we’ve put this guide together of things you should look for in a plumber before calling.
So let’s get started!
Tips & Tricks for Choosing a Good Plumber Easily
As is the case with any profession, plumbing is much more complicated than just wrenching on some pipes.
Fixing leaky faucets, cleaning out clogged sinks and drains, working with electrical appliances like water heaters, etc. are all jobs that require considerable experience.
These complexities and intricacies will probably not be best understood by a scruffy teenager who’s working part-time as an apprentice for a real plumber.
Therefore, find yourself a plumber who has been in this line of work for some time, and this brings us to our next point.
Who will actually wrench on your pipes?
If you speak to a local plumber, chances are they will themselves come to work on your plumbing or send someone they trust in their place. They generally will vouch for who they send.
However, at times, the person you speak to isn’t the person who knocks on your door, and you might not even know their credentials. Therefore, don’t hesitate to call again and confirm the actual plumber’s credentials.
This is one of the most important aspects of picking a plumber and, apart from skill, is the difference between a DIYer and a professional.
A license is an affirmation by a government authority that the plumber who’ll pay you a visit will actually fix the leak instead of making it even wetter.
This is because a plumber must have a working knowledge of his trade and also complete a prescribed training to obtain the license.
While plumbers without a license will generally charge less, their work comes with no assurance and/or guarantee, implying you will not be able to hold them responsible, should something go wrong.
Lastly, it may not be entirely legal for plumbers to operate without a license in some states (you could even be making yourself liable in some cases) and they will require a permit. In short, getting an unlicensed plumber is not worth it.
Insurance and Bondage
Insurance jobs can be tricky, and at times, they can go very wrong. Even the most experienced plumbers get it wrong at times.
While their folly may cost them repute and goodwill, it may cost you a lot more than that, sometimes even thousands of dollars.
Therefore, the plumber you choose should be bonded and insured to account for contingencies.
Commercial liability insurance covers losses relating to property damage and/or bodily injury.
Bondage, usually in the form of a surety bond, covers expenses not covered by insurance, such as contractor’s unprofessionalism, theft, liability for illegal acts, etc.
Transparency in billing
Plumbers, like engineers and doctors, are professionals. Because they are professionals and have a working knowledge of plumbing that the average Joe does not have (despite his convincing himself that it’s just a bunch of pipes), they do tend to charge liberally.
A liberal charge in exchange for a job well done is something we can live with, provided that such charge is disclosed well in advance.
Some professionals who offer doorstep service, such as IT professionals, do not disclose hidden costs and give their profession an ill repute.
Avoid plumbers who are notorious for including hidden charges as they can drive a serious hole in your pocket. Also, by reducing the demand for their services, you are discouraging and remedying their behavior.
Lastly, make sure the estimate isn’t way off the mark. Some plumbers, in the name of transparency, might charge you more-than-liberally, and if you think something is off with the billing, don’t hesitate to cross-check and get quotes from other plumbers.
It’s a short life. In the little time you have left, you have to be born, go to school, then to college, get a job, get married, have kids, send the kids to school, then to college… sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
Now imagine adding waiting for the plumber on top of all that. Would you like to do that? We wouldn’t.
Punctuality is an appreciable quality, not just in a plumber, but in general. If your plumber does not come at the appointed time, you aren’t going to be too pleased, are you?
Moreover, if you have a pipe that burst, then the plumber’s punctuality is crucial because each extra second might just contribute to more property damage and loss.
While it’s difficult to ascertain how punctual a plumber is if you haven’t used them repeatedly, and while you may experience isolated incidents when the plumber might arrive late, you can get an idea of how strictly your plumber adheres to timelines by reading online reviews and contacting others who hired their services.
Lastly, fix a time with your plumber. Don’t give them a vague timeline such as, “Tomorrow afternoon” unless you really are free for the whole afternoon.
Clothing and attire
If you, like most people in the modern world, own a smartphone and enjoy gaming on it, then head over to your application store and download a game called ‘Plumber Crack.’
Apart from how disgustingly gross and berating the game is to plumbers, it does highlight a common issue faced by people when they hire plumbers: inappropriate clothing.
While there is no standard dress code for a plumber to follow, they should be reasonably well-dressed.
You will probably not have to worry about this if the plumber is employed by a company, as they will be uniformed. If they’re independent, make sure they wear work jeans/pants, a reasonably clean shirt and, to prevent a case of plumber crack, a belt or a pair of suspenders.
Rate: hourly or fixed?
At times, plumbers might not be able to give you an estimate, let alone an accurate estimate.
This is nothing to get alarmed over, as some jobs are genuinely more complicated than they appear to be and completing them requires experience, skill and, of course, time.
So, if you think you’ve got yourself such a case, ask the plumber beforehand whether he will charge you a fixed rate or charge you by the hour.
If they charge you a fixed rate, it might benefit you because you might get away with paying less for a job that takes longer than it should have. However, the flipside is you might end up paying more for something that was a breeze for them to do.
Similarly, with an hourly rate, you might get away on the cheap for a small job, but a long job could break the bank.
Round the clock service
Let’s be logical. Plumbing problems don’t RSVP before coming.
A pipe can serve you faithfully for ten years before taking just a fraction of a second to burst and flood your kitchen at 3 am. Your water heater can give out on the morning of your job interview.
In light of all this, it’s important to find yourself a plumbing service which offers round-the-clock service, so you know that even if that faucet leaks at 11 pm, someone’ll be by to fix it. Round-the-clock is especially crucial for commercial establishments, such as hotels and restaurants.
Take note of the availability of their emergency engineers as well as their opening times. There should be someone ready to answer the phone at all times, but even if there is, there’s no guarantee that they’ll send an engineer round right away because they have to adhere to opening times.
Lastly, if they have no opening time or it’s flexible, see if you can find their response time. Much like firefighters and your local PD, plumbers, naturally, take some time to reach your destination. Most plumbers have response times ranging from 30 to 90 minutes.
Scope of operations
While most of us think of plumbers as local people who are closely tied to the community, you may be surprised to know that national plumbing companies exist as well. So, which one should you call?
Local companies have the advantage of knowing the area well and, more often than not, they know their customers well, so they impart that personal touch to their service.
Moreover, since they are so integrated into the community, their accountability is higher, so they are more likely to charge fairly and reasonably.
However, a local establishment might not be able to provide the kind of professionalism a national company might provide.
National companies have the benefit of reputation behind them as they are trusted all over the nation. They can impart the kind of training to their personnel that local companies seldom can.
But, companies aren’t built on hopes on dreams; they are built on cold, hard cash, which is precisely what a national plumbing company is looking for.
Thus, the company might overcharge you and might even hit you with a ton of hidden charges (or even if they’re not hidden, they might be hidden in plain sight, i.e., you might not get why they’re there).
If the plumber you’re looking does things even half-well and has been in the industry for some time, they will probably have some references to their name.
Senior plumbers, past customers, sureties and licensing authorities will definitely vouch for a plumber who is worthy of repute. Even if you receive some negative reviews, those may be the result of isolated incidents and should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The point is, reviews, on the whole, should be more positive than negative.
Attitude of the plumber
You would not invite a foul-mouthed stranger into your house, so why make an exception for your plumber?
A rude plumber will leave a bitter aftertaste after completing his work, even if he has done it well and can potentially ruin your day.
On the other hand, a polite and pleasant plumber takes the edge off the anxiety of the repair and the cost involved. You might even be willing to forgive some of their shortcomings, and you might even give them a well-deserved tip.
Plumbers are an indispensable part of society and are professionals, just like doctors, engineers, and lawyers. However, every profession has a few rotten eggs, and it is very easy to get stuck with one.
To prevent you from experiencing sub-standard service by your plumber, we have put together this guide which contains all the important factors one must consider before engaging a plumber, so that you can find yourself a plumber as amazing as Frisco plumbing contractor.